Business November 6, 2013

Boost festive productivity without playing Scrooge


Business Leaders may have been trying to push it to the back of their minds but there is no escaping the fact that the festive season is approaching. Turkeys may be looking nervous but staff are looking forward to work nights out, gifts and possibly bonuses.

Without wishing to sound like Scrooge, all the festivities come at a price. Research shows that during the annual party season, a decline in productivity levels costs businesses almost £259 million. Some evidence suggests that the UK is missing out on the full capability of 20 million workers because they are not actively engaged with their jobs and their employers.

It is a dilemma. Rewarding staff can boost morale; motivate and engender loyalty. All useful aims but festive events can also be a distraction. According to Natalie Vescia, B2B Marketing & Client Relationship Manager at Wickes, there is a way to keep staff motivated throughout the more tinsel-wreathed months:
The key question that applies to both ‘thank you’ rewards and December incentive schemes is when to give the staff their rewards. Timing is crucial in order to drive take up and deliver an effective scheme.

Incentivise employees

Although it is important to reward staff, employers run a risk by putting all their investment into the Christmas period. If they reward employees in the New Year, it will ensure the gesture isn’t lost among the Christmas celebrations and the reward will therefore generate a bigger impact.

If employers think carefully about the performance and outcomes they need from their business, they can incentivise employees at a time that is right for them.

Split reward process

The reward process could be split for example, with half the reward given before Christmas and half in the New Year. A reward at the start of the year is the perfect way of perking up employees who may be suffering from the January blues and focusing them on activities for the months ahead.

Rewarding in the New Year helps to extend the feel good factor of the festive season as well as ease the post Christmas squeeze on spending. Many employees start the year with depleted finances and dwindling energy levels - a reward will serve to create a positive working atmosphere during those first few days back after the holidays when employers are keen for their team to begin the year successfully.

Keep employees motivated

Keeping employees motivated toward the end of the year can be a difficult task. However with research indicating that improved employee engagement could deliver £26 billion GDP growth in the UK, it is not a task that should be overlooked. Giving employees rewards throughout Christmas and into the New Year is well advised as it serves to keep them motivated for the end of year and the year ahead.

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